Anything Goes is poised to make a comeback with a bang for Purdon Racing at Kaikoura as a leading chance in a race which proved rather elusive for All Star Stables over a lengthy period.

“He’s back and going along well. I might just give  him an easy trial midweek but he won’t need much” Nathan said

Kaikoura’s standing start older horses (it originally included three year olds) Sales race has been a major attraction to connections of horses who didn’t make the elite levels at 2 and 3 since its introduction by PGG Wrightsons in 2005 specifically for the later developers.

A standing start with handicaps gives a salute to age group racing of the past and while the stake has not moved for more than a decade at $50,000 it is only $10,000 less than the Kaikoura Cup and with most current topliners ineligible, an appealing target for many trainers.

Anything Goes will have to start from 20m but is nicely placed in that he is dropping back from elite racing but is inside the maximum rating of 79 by two points. He was actually third in the race last year when trained by Steve Dolan so Kaikoura should hold no fears for the big horse.

Early in the spring there were hopes Anything Goes would grace the Cup field but after a couple of below peak runs, he was freshened and aimed at this race and most probably at the $40,000 Junior Free for All on Cup Day where the preferential draw could be in his favour.

“He had had some quite hard races and his lack of race experience told. He was just a bit jaded and we decided the Cup this year was maybe a year too soon for him” Nathan said at the time.

The Rolleston stable has usually had contenders in the race but its last win was with Alto Ronaldo in 2015-a long time ago for this stable in any feature race.Arden Rooney who went on to NZ Cup glory from Australia, won in 2013 and the second edition of the race was won by Classic Cullen in 2006 raced by Neil and Rose Pilcher; Pilch’s great mate Bill Grice and his wife Karen and Graeme and Brendon Rogerson.Classic Cullen also went to the best classes and was NZ Cup placed.

Typical of some of the luck in the race for All Stars  was Hands Christian in 2011,well poised with 2nd up after a fresh win and G1 seconds in a Jewels and Sires Stakes Final in his 3yo campaign. He looked poised to win well placed with a round to go but inexplicably broke going out of the straight, an effect Kaikoura can have on some horses. All U Need is Love,Texas Holdem  and Taxman have been among the several placings.

The restrictions on the race (no Group 1 wins  or in races with a stake of $100,000+) have no doubt affected the stable in past years because  so many have featured in age group features at two and three and  conditions ruled out many of the otherwise suitable runners.But they play into the hands of Anything Goes even though a 20m handicap can be a  difficult assignment on the tight Kaikoura track where backmakers usually have to make their own luck.

Meanwhile nothing serious is amiss with WILD WILLOW who came up with a marginal blood condition just prior to Ashburton and he will shortly resume.






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